COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update:

Feeding the front lines

Feeding the front lines:
South LA restaurants deliver a morale boost to Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

Please contact: Gwen Driscoll, gdriscoll@mlkch.org, 310-720-4441

Willowbrook, April 1 – Restaurants that shuttered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are back in business, thanks to an inspirational effort to “feed the front lines” – the doctors, nurses and other staff essential to the emergency response at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) in South Los Angeles.


Powered by a generous kick-off grant from Wells Fargo and organized by MLKCH with the help of the service organization Big Sunday, the program starts today with a delivery of 550 donuts at 11 a.m. for the hospital’s day shift staff and, at 8:30 p.m., an entire meal to all 150 of MLKCH’s night shift staff.

Long Beach-based Golden Donut and Carson-based Darrows New Orleans Grill, respectively, are providing the food. Uncle Darrow is the owner of Darrow's, a classic cajun cuisine restaurant in Carson. Uncle Darrow has been serving the Los Angeles community since 1994 and decided to temporarily close due to COVID-19. Darrow's has long been involved in their community and has had many employees with them for over 20 years. Both owners were grateful to be a part of this initiative to thank MLKCH.

“This is a morale boost and a true help for our staff at a very hard time,” said Dyan Sublett, president of the MLK Community Health Foundation, which supports the hospital.  “Everyone at MLKCH, from doctors to housekeepers, are on the front lines of care right now.  Shows of support like this from our community are very meaningful.”

The food will go to MLKCH emergency department and clinical staff caring for patients but also to other critical “front line” workers, including cleaning staff, maintenance workers, and materials management staff working round the clock to source medical supplies.

Wells Fargo and Big Sunday will support the first four weeks of the MLKCH “feed the front lines” program.  Their catered show of support will occur every Wednesday until April 22, after which MLKCH is seeking additional restaurants and sponsors to continue the effort.

If you are interested in participating in MLKCH’s “feeding the front lines” program, please email: info@mlk-chf.org.

MLKCH and other hospitals expect a surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the month of April and beyond.  

Dozens of organizations, as well as individuals, have flooded the hospital with donations large and small over the past month.  Most gifts have been of critically-needed masks, isolation gowns and gloves.  But food has meaning as well.

“The food will feed our heroic staff, but the show of support will feed their spirits,” Sublett said.  “We can’t thank our community enough for lifting us up at this critical time.”

Photos and B-roll are available.

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